Bicycle thefts rising in Tallinn

Bicycle.
Bicycle. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

There has been an increase in the number of reported bike thefts between January and the end of April in Tallinn, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) have said.

137 bike thefts were reported between January and April this year in Estonia in 2021 compared to the same period last year.  

Seventy-two of bikes were reported stolen in Tallinn and a third of the total number were taken from the City Center (Kesklinn).

There has been a big increase in the number of bikes stolen in the City Center. Forty-four were reported in the first four months of this year but only 12 in the same time period last year.

Last year, 609 bicycles were stolen which is 93 more than in 2019. More than 100 were stolen in Tallinn City Center and North Tallinn.

Tarmo Pärjala, director of security company G4S Estonia, said 70 percent of bicycles are stolen when they are not locked. Every third bicycle was stolen from the stairwell or corridor.

"It is mistakenly thought that the staircase is a safe place to store a bicycle because the door is made of iron and locked. Unfortunately, thieves have easy access to every staircase," he said.

25 percent of bicycles are taken from the streets. Pärjala said, if possible, leave them in front of a security camera.

"Some thieves do not act very boldly in the field of view of security cameras, but if the thief decides to act, the police will have valuable evidence in the form of a security camera recording to help identify the criminal," Pärjala said. He also suggested buying a wheel lock.

Every seventh bike is stolen from a basement.

Peak bicycle theft season takes place in the summer and is yet to come. The police recommend contacting them if your bike is stolen.  

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Editor: Helen Wright

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